International Yoga Day

June 17th, 2016

On June 21st, yogis from around the world will come together to celebrate International Yoga Day. While yoga’s easy enough to practice on your own or at your local gym, we’ve been looking for some of the coolest places to find your inner Zen. Here are just a few spots that can’t be beat:

On a Rooftop in Barcelona

At the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona, you can practice yoga on the roof with panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s prime location on Passeig de Gracia. From there, you’ll see Barcelona’s famous mountains and Gaudi’s modernistic Sagrada Familia, all while staying above the bustle of city life. The Majestic Hotel & Spa offers both group classes and private lessons that can be adapted for any level of experience.

Above the Jungle in Bali

At COMO Shambhala Estate, you can take complimentary classes or schedule private yoga lessons in a studio overlooking the Bali forests and mountains. There they practice Hatha Yoga, which combines asanas (postures), better breathing, and meditation. At COMO Shambhala Estate, a 23-acre property set on the River Ayung, yoga is just one part of the holistic wellness regime that begins the moment you set foot on the grounds.

On a Private Beach in Turks and Caicos

At COMO Parrot Cay, yoga classes are offered right on the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of the surf to soothe your senses and get you in a meditative state of mind, and the resort’s location on a private island is the ideal place to find inner peace. The only thing better than Yoga Day is five yoga days, COMO Parrot Cay offers five-day yoga retreats with top instructors like America’s Rodney Yee to allow you to fully dive into the experience.

In the Rainforest in Costa Rica

Nayara Springs has a pavilion set in the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, where you can relax and enjoy one of the many complimentary group yoga classes or a private yoga lesson with an experienced instructor. When you’re completely surrounded by the forest and fresh air, listening to the humming birds sing, and feeling the warm Costa Rican sun on your body, you’ll feel at peace with the world.


nisantasi shopping district: the best of the best

July 20th, 2012

Left photo courtesy of Visit2Instanbul.com

Shortly after Istanbul’s historic Nisantasi neighborhood was settled by palace staff and members of royalty from the Topkapi Palace, the area began to thrive.  With its immaculate reputation favored by the upper echelons of Turkey, Nisantasi has continued living up to its legacy and is still one of the most glamorous and preferred neighborhoods in Istanbul.

From luxurious boutiques to internationally acclaimed fashion designers such as Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and more, Nisantasi is Istanbul’s trendiest shopping district.  Out of the four main avenues in the district, New York Times writer Kavitha Rao shares some of the most popular shops in the area, many of which are popular among top fashion icons such as supermodel Gisele Bündchen and actress Meg Ryan.

After a long – but so worth it – day of shopping in one of the most famous areas in the world, give your feet a break and head to Park Hyatt Istanbul, conveniently located in the heart of Nisantasi.  Better than a home away from home, Park Hyatt Istanbul provides all the relaxation activities one expects from a Park Hyatt, including an outdoor pool, luxurious spa, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.  After some down time, indulge in some cocktails, tapas, and outstanding meals at Park Hyatt’s restaurant, lounge, terrace, and wine bar.

expert how-to: avoid sun damage and still get tan

July 19th, 2012

Yes, everyone looks better with a golden glow. The drawback is that spending hours in the sun takes a toll on skin. We asked Guinot’s Director of Education and keeper of myriad beauty secrets, Elizabeth Murchison, for her tips on how to protect your skin (and still look fabulous!).

What does sun exposure do to your skin?

Sun exposure causes pigmentation and uneven skin, ages the skin, and could cause serious problems such as skin cancer.

What’s the best way to fight sun damage? (Okay, this was an easy one!)

The best ways to fight sun damage is to apply an SPF of 15, 20, or 30 approximately 20 minutes before leaving your home (the actives need time to settle in the skin). If you are planning on being out for a day at the beach, running errands, or taking a fun walk in the neighborhood, you should apply your SPF every two hours as sun protection has minimized.

What is the best way to look tan without damaging your skin? (more…)

guinot’s new secret weapon for late nights

July 18th, 2012

Over time, the effects of ageing, stress, poor diet, smoking, and lack of sleep all become visible on the face, causing the skin to lose its vitality and radiance and reveal signs of fatigue. In just three minutes, Guinot’s newest product, Masque Dynamisant, will combat this problem by not only renewing the skin’s natural radiance, but also revitalizing, moisturizing, and illuminating the skin for a burst of energy for the face.

  • The combination of mint and eucalyptus essential oils refreshes the skin to restore radiance and vitality.
  • AHA Complex eliminates dead skin cells and brings forth new cells to illuminate the skin.
  • Dynalift, or Sorghum extract, forms a film which coats and visibly lifts the skin’s surface.
  • Lift Firming Complex combats skin laxity, creating an instant and intense firming effect.
  • All the while skin is moisturized with Guinot’s Hydrocyte Complex, the biological moisture source that actively hydrates cells at each level of the skin, leaving faces feeling supple and refreshed.

Perfect for a quick fix after a late night, give the skin’s complexion a boost of radiance and return to work looking and feeling refreshed. The Masque Dynamisant is also paraben-free and has not been tested on animals.

TO USE:

Apply on the face morning and/or evening, taking care to avoid the eye contour. Leave on for at least three minutes, but no longer than 10 minutes.

Masque Dynamisant comes in a 1.6oz tube and is priced at $39. Guinot products are carried in over 1,000 spas and salons within the US.  To locate a spa, visit www.GuinotUSA.com.

summer savior

June 28th, 2012

Who wants to carry an extra weekend bag just for beauty products? Forget loading up on waxy drugstore specials and simply tote around ESPA’s Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, the classic summer savior. This hero product is a super multi-tasker and can tackle a handful of summer beauty woes. Along with the rest of the newly reformulated ESPA products, the new Pink Hair and Scalp Mud is 99% natural and free of synthetic color, fragrance, and parabens, phthalates, DEA, TEA, mineral oil, SLS and SLES, silicone, propylene glycol, and petrolatum.

Hair

This is the Mud’s first concern. Hair tends to dry out in the summer. Too much salt, sand, sun, and chlorine are the culprits. Slather some of this nourishing pink balm on dry or damp hair, then go about your business (clean the apartment, paint your nails, catch up on the latest celebrity gossip…). Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse. You’ll immediately feel how much healthier, smoother, and softer your hair is when you start to rinse it off. You can also comb it through hair before sunbathing or swimming to protect from damaging chlorine, UV rays, and environmental pollutants.

Legs

Did you get to the share house and realize you didn’t bring any shaving cream? The Pink Hair and Scalp Mud makes an excellent shave mud! Shaving cream can actually dry out your skin, so for a closer shave and a softer, more moisturized end result, the mud is perfect.

Sunburn (more…)

the height of relaxation

June 20th, 2012

Located on the scenic shores of Lake Lucerne and surrounded by the idyllic Alpine landscape, the legendary Palace Luzern is now offering the SPAtacular Rooftop Experience – just for the ladies. Available everyday from 11:00am to 3:00pm, up to four women can book the Palace rooftop terrace for an afternoon of pampering, complete with a bottle of champagne, strawberries, and a total of three wellness treatments per person. As it is the only spa in the area offering this type of experience, indulge in the breathtaking views and fresh Alpine air along with a preparing facial mask, full body peel, and comforting after-sun treatment.

Price: Total of 790 Swiss Francs (approximately US$820) for up to four women.

 

travel back to the 16th century in istanbul

June 14th, 2012

Photos courtesy of TreeHugger.com and Park Hyatt Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey offers the perfect mix of an urban city center with rich, beautiful history that dates back centuries.  That history comes to life through the breath-taking Mosques and architecture of Sinan, the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire.  The Park Hyatt Istanbul offers you a luxurious room to come home to after your day of traveling back in time – the first mosque is located just fifteen minutes away from the hotel!

You can begin your journey at the Sehzade Mosque, just as Sinan did.  This was one of his first mosques built, finished in 1548, and is perfect from the exterior.  However, Sinan placed the entrance in the center of the mosque to create symmetry, which created a passageway right through the main prayer area.  Sinan recognized his mistake and did not make it again.

The next stop is at the Suleymaniye Mosque, the most famous in Istanbul.  It towers over the city above the Golden Horn.  Sinan built it atop a hill to give the illusion that the mosque is floating – an effect that can only be captured in person.  The mosque just reopened after a full restoration and looks just like it did when Sinan and his team first constructed it!

Located right about the city’s lively Spice Market, the Rustem Pasha Mosque will be next on your itinerary and a perfect place to shop, eat, and meet the locals of this unique city. To avoid the crowd and bustle, two simple staircases lead you up to the beautiful and peaceful plaza that was built right outside of the mosque.  The Rustem Pasha Mosque is most famous for its striking and colorful use of Iznik tile on the interior.

Take a quick boat to discover two other unique mosques and the breathtaking view of Istanbul’s nearly 3,000 mosques that create the skyline.  Located on the island of Uskudar, the Semsi Pasha Mosque and Mihrimah Sultan I Mosque can only reached by boat.  Here, Sinan introduced the double porch to his new mosques and this new piece of architecture quickly spread throughout all of Europe.

Located three hours away from Istanbul, spend the day in Edirne to view what Sinan thought was his own masterpiece, the Selimiye Mosque. Formerly located in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the mosque now stands majestically in the city center of Edirne.

After a long day of exploring, the Park Hyatt Istanbul is the perfect place to wind down. Not only does the hotel have its own historic architecture similar to what you just discovered (with its own innovative flare), a quick trip to The Spa will leave you refreshed and ready for your next day of exploration. Rates begin at $275 per night.

le petite prince (and princess)

May 30th, 2012

Been there, done that? This summer, embark on a different family-friendly getaway in Geneva, Switzerland, with La Réserve Genève.

Where: Nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève, the contemporary five-star hotel with interiors by Jacques Garcia, features spacious rooms and suites, some even with separate kitchens and living and dining rooms – ideal for families.

Fun for the Little Ones: Younger guests can spend their days at La Petite Réserve, an en plein playground and tree house. Daily supervised age-appropriate activities and babysitting services are available for kids ages six months to 14 years and include tennis, golf, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and swimming lessons. *

Fun for Adults: Parents can relax poolside indulging in a luxurious spa treatment using products such as La Prairie, enjoying an intimate meal at one of the property’s three restaurants, or cruising around Geneva in one of the hotel’s Tesla roadsters.

Fun Times Together: Geneva is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals this summer, including the Bol D’Or (June 15-17), in which 600 boats and yachts take to the waters of Lake Geneva in a contest for the Golden Cup, or the Fêtes de Genève (July 19 – August 12), one of the biggest events in Switzerland offering over 250 free concerts, crafts, food, and one of the largest musical firework shows in the world.

For more information about La Réserve Genève click here, or call +41 22 959 59 59.

*The kids program is offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. One week enrollment costs 1,200 CHF (approximately $1,322 USD).

new espa opens at d-hotel in maris, turkey

May 24th, 2012

NEW ESPA at D-Hotel, Maris, Turkey ESPA has opened its newest spa at the beautiful D-Hotel Maris, set on a hillside in the Datca Peninsula nature preserve in Turkey. Famous for having the third highest concentration level of oxygen in the world, the Datca Peninsula is said to have natural healing properties that date back to the 12th Century BC and was once a sacred place of pilgrimage to the legendary Aphrodite of Knidos.

The peaceful enclave is surrounded by pine forests, natural private beaches, small islands, and volcanic mountains with spectacular views of both the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The hotel’s design combines the exotic elements of the East with the modernity of the West, and this is reflected throughout the ESPA spa at D-Hotel Maris.

An essential part of any trip to Turkey, the opulent world-class Hammam has private individual scrub rooms and a relaxation – a central feature of this ESPA spa. The natural healing properties of the surrounding area, coupled with ESPA Signature Treatments, seven spa rooms, private spa suite, and heat experiences (including a vitality pool, contemporary indoor pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation lounge) put this ESPA spa in a league of its own. (more…)

take your mama out

April 30th, 2012

Forget the Hallmark card or the flowers and take Mom away for a real treat. We’ve put together some suggestions for a Mother’s Day she won’t soon forget.

Where: One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

What: Get Mom a weekend of spa treatments in paradise.

When: Mother’s Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Mothers and daughters can unwind in the privacy of a double Spa villa at the ESPA spa complete with private garden, rain showers, outdoor Mexican daybeds, and whirlpool baths to relax in after a treatment. Special for the weekend are Mother-Daughter Soul-to-Soul moments ($640 for two) that include a Mother-Daughter yoga or salsa experience, an ESPA age-defying radiance facial or intensive facial, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation area, or the Enduring Memory Mother’s Day Experience ($355) with a two-hour holistic body ritual, an in-villa 30-minute experience including a foot ritual, bath, and relaxation time, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation areas. And all of this with her now favorite child.

Where: Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, New Mexico

What: Show Mom how much you care by sending her to the welcoming Inn on the Alameda for a weekend of adult-only relaxation.

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: With the Please Your Parents Package, Mom and Dad can enjoy a weekend away from the kids in Deluxe Accommodations at the Inn, including the Inn’s signature continental breakfast, afternoon wine hour, and one box of yummy bizcochitos, the official New Mexico state cookie.

Rate: Nightly rate is $220 plus tax per room per night. With a regular rate of $270 plus tax, this package has $50 nightly savings and applies to the Inn’s Deluxe Rooms only. The stay must include Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13, 2012, but there is no minimum night stay requirement. The offer is subject to hotel availability.

Where: The Peninsula Spa, New York

What: An amazing ESPA “Spa-Cation” without leaving the island

When: Perfect for the week before or after Mother’s Day

Why Mom will love it: Play hooky and take your mama out! Without hopping on planes trains, or automobiles, have a spa-cation right in the city. You and mom can indulge in a 60-minute treatment, a special lunch, and complimentary use of the pool and fitness center. It’s available Monday-Thursday for $285 per person.

Where: White Elephant and Brant Point Grill, Nantucket, Massachusetts

What: Breakfast in bed is a nice gesture, but we bet Mom will enjoy the “Best Brunch on the Island” even more!

When: Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Why Mom will love it: From the Benedict Burger to the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, a Sparkling Station for mimosas, and a brand new tapas station, this brunch is complete with all of Mom’s favorites.

Rate: Brant Point Grill’s Mother’s Day Brunch is $55 for adults, $25 for kids ages 6-12 and $5 for kids ages 3-5. Combine your brunch with a stay at White Elephant and enjoy special Hot Dates Cool Rates, starting at $195 per night.

Where: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado

What: Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this luxury chateau-style resort features many amenities, including the 30,000 square-foot Allegria Spa, with a full-service fitness center, slopeside pool and hot tubs. This world-class spa is offering the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package, an exceptional package for moms to unwind on their special day.

When: Mothers Day, Sunday, May 13, 2012.

Why Mom will love it: Spoil Mom with an extra luxurious spa escape with the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package that includes a 50-minute Swedish Massage; choice of one of three select treatments (25 minute Sweet Lavender Body Scrub, 30 minute Custom Facial or Express Manicure & Pedicure); champagne; take-home spa gift; and access to Aqua Sanitas, the health club, the pools and hot tubs.

Where: Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

What: Max and relax with Mom for a stress-free weekend away

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Stress is a fact of life for mothers and daughters alike, which is why Parrot Cay has designed a Stress Management Wellness Package to target and relieve sources of tension and worry. Professional consultants will take things down a few notches with deep relaxing therapies, enlightening outdoor pursuits, and smart tips to put some of the carefree “island life” of Turks & Caicos into the home routine. Let the experienced personal fitness trainers convert pent-up stress into a productive mother-daughter workout, and follow it up with mind- and body-balancing yoga and meditation.

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